Man’s Sinful Nature

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

I.          I’ve been hearing a lot about man’s sinful nature

             A.         A large number of people in denominations take it for granted that mankind is born sinful.

                          1.          In other words, people can’t help but to sin because it is a part of our nature.

                          2.          The Philadelphia Confession of Faith (p. 7-8) states that because Adam sinned, we are born with a “sinful nature.” We are born sinners and there is nothing we can do about it. We can do nothing good by ourselves.

                                       a.          Because of inherited sin, “we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite of all good, and wholly inclined to do evil . . . This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and, although Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself and the first motions thereof are truly and properly sin.”

                          3.          Billy Graham (2/15/96) wrote concerning the virgin birth of Jesus. He gave two reasons

                                       a.          God chose to have Christ born to a virgin to set Him apart from all others.

                                       b.          “Second, theologians have also pointed out that being born apart from the agency of a human father, Jesus broke the cycle of inherited sin which comes upon every person who is born.”

             B.         Jesus’ birth gives the believers in inherited sin a great deal of difficulty

                          1.          Jesus was born in the flesh, yet Jesus was without sin. If everyone is born into sin, how can He be born and yet without sin?

                          2.          Catholics try to solve the problem by declaring that Mary was conceived and born without sin so she could give birth to a sinless Christ.

                                       a.          But if it was required for Mary to be so born, then what about her mother, her grandmother, and so on back to the beginning of time?

                          3.          Graham avoids this problem by essentially stating that sin must be inherited through the father, not the mother. Jesus’ father was God, so he had no sin.

                                       a.          Problem: Inherited sin is not from a person’s immediate father, but from Adam. Luke traces Jesus’ lineage back to Adam (Luke 3:38). How can Jesus be a descendant of Adam without inheriting the sin all descendants of Adam supposedly receive?

II.         The Fall of Adam

             A.         We first need to look at the origin of the problem

                          1.          God created man - Gen. 2:7 and everything was very good.

                          2.          Man was given charged to care for the garden - Gen 2:15-17

                          3.          Man and God’s relation was so close that God walked during the cool of the day with Adam - Gen. 3:8

                          4.          Yet in Gen. 3:1-6, Man yields to the temptation of sin and violates God’s law

                                       a.          The nature and avenue of those temptations are the same as faced by all men - I John 2:15-17

                          5.          As a result

                                       a.          Man’s eyes were opened - Gen. 3:7

                                       b.          Woman was cursed - Gen. 3:16

                                       c.          Man was cursed - Gen. 3:17-19

                                       d.          Adam and Eve were given proper clothing - Gen. 3:21

                                       e.          They died spiritually that day - Gen. 3:23-24

                                       f.          They eventually died spiritually - Gen. 5:5

             B.         So far, we all agree, but what happened to Adam’s children?

                          1.          Gen. 4:4-7 - If Cain would do well, God would accept him, otherwise sin lies at the door.

                                       a.          Calvinism teaches that sin was already in Cain!

                                       b.          God said it was about to enter.

                          2.          Enoch walked with God - Gen. 5:21-24

                                       a.          How could he if he was born in sin?

                                       b.          God does not have fellowship with those in sin

                                                    (1)        Isa. 59:1-2 - your sins have separated you from God

                                                    (2)        I Jn 1:5

                          3.          Noah too walked with God (Gen. 6:9)

             C.         The only conclusion is that man does not inherit sin, but is responsible for his own actions

                          1.          Ezek. 18:1-4 ... 20 - Sin is not inherited from one’s parents!

                          2.          Col 3:25 - One is repaid for the wrong he has done.

III.        Some “proof” offered

             A.         Psalms 51:5

                          1.          Is David agonizing over the sin he inherited from his mother?

                          2.          Is he grieved for being an illegitimate son?

                                       a.          No he was Jesse’s 8th son - I Sam. 16:10-11

                          3.          This was written after Nathan confronted David with his sin - II Sam. 12:1-7

                          4.          Note Psalms 51:1-4 - Notice that the sin David agonizes over is his own sin, not Adam’s.

                          5.          Compare this statement with Ps. 22:9-10. Which is correct?

                          6.          David is saying that his sin has affected his whole life (A point that abortionist should note is that David counts his life from conception.) He is saying he started in a sinful world and it has affected his life.

             B.         Rom. 3:23

                          1.          All have sinned. This shows an activity on every individual’s part.

                          2.          James 1:14-15 - Every man is tempted, being drawn away by his own lusts.

                          3.          Paul and James are teaching the same thing. Every man is faced with a choice and every man has made the wrong choice at various times in their lives.

             C.         Rom. 5:12

                          1.          Death passes to all men because all men have sinned. Not because they inherit it from Adam.

                          2.          This is still the same thing taught in James 1:14-15

IV.       Inherited sin is a myth

             A.         A child enters life in purity and innocence

                          1.          When they are young, they have no knowledge of good or evil - Deut. 1:39

                          2.          Isa. 7:15-16 - A child must grow to know to refuse evil and chose good.

                          3.          This is why Jesus says that the kingdom is compose of people like little children - Mk. 10:14

                          4.          We have to become like children to enter the kingdom - Mt. 18:3

             B.         People are punished for their own sins - Col. 3:25

                          1.          God does not “chose” who is punished or not by name, but by the actions of their own choice.

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